Monthly Archives: December 2008

Bionic Yarn

Beautiful, sustainable and durable. That’s the motto for Bionic Yarn and hopefully part of the fashion industry’s New Years resolution. 

Return Textiles Corp, a two-year-old New York based company, engineers and manufactures sustainable yarn and fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. The construct is made of a polyester core wrapped in recycled plastic and then depending on what the fabric will be used for, a combination of nylon, polyester or cotton will be wrapped around the recycled plastic in two different directions creating a tension similar to a Chinese finger trap. The durable fabric is used to make backpacks, luggage, handbags, active apparel, work wear, denim, footwear, home and outdoor furnishings.

Bionic Yarn Construction

 

According to Bionic Yarn it takes eighteen 1 liter recycled water bottles to make an average piece of luggage and seven recycled plastic bottles to make a pair of jeans. With 60 million plastic bottles from consumers being put into landfills daily, there is more than enough supply to continue developing these types of sustainable fabrics.

 Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams the Grammy winning musician and a new investor and owner of Bionic Yarn has incorporated the new material into his own clothing lines Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream.  Pharrell was quoted as having said he was fascinated with the technology and pleased with the softness of the denim as well. With growing concern for the environment Williams will be an ambassador to the company. As Pharrell says, “Our goal is to be the go-to fabric supplier. We want to provide quality fabrics that also happen to be sustainable. We want to do everything from high end luggage to high end denim, to university caps and gowns to Parks Department uniforms. It’s a plus that the fabric brings environmentalism to a whole new level.”

Let’s hope so Pharrell, let’s hope so.

Bionic Yarn

Billionaire Boys Club & Ice Cream

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Prada Link Watch

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LG and Prada have partnered together to make the Prada Link watch, an accessory to the new Prada II phone. The sleek, black, leather and stainless steel watch sorts calls and text messages without having to reach into your pocket or purse. Although the partnership between LG and Prada does prove that fashion and technology are beginning to work together to make beautiful functional accessories, it seems that the first generation of the phone needs more attention. The watch operates through Bluetooth and while it conveniently tells you who is calling, you still have to find your phone to take the call. The battery life is 48 hours requiring a charge every other night. At this point in the game it seems that a little more development needs to be done before this luxury good becomes useful, perhaps voice recognition would be the next step. Also, there is the concern for adding more stuff to your life and using more materials rather than smarter stuff and greener materials. Aside from the function, the aesthetic design is fantastic – an elegant and substantial watch demanding attention. Currently there is no pricing or US release date available.

Prada Link Watch and Phone Video

GANDRUD

The New, Green Museum

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The California Academy of Science in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has long been dedicated to the study of nature, and after 8 years and half a billion dollars in sustainable renovations, Italian architect Renzo Piano’s design is a pioneer in sustainable architecture. Unlike traditional theater museums, this museum is built inside the park, well underneath it to be more specific. The 2.5 acre living roof is the signature element. After walking the grounds in silence and observing the hills from a run down building, Piano sketched a simple rolling hill with a line underneath and with only his sketchbook, Piano beat the other five competitors.

Not only has Piano’s design been compared to Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling Guggenheim Museum and Frank Gehry’s titanium Guggenheim in Bilbao, the new museum is expected to capture the attention of the public with its design and green focus. Hoping to receive the highest ranking from the U. S. Green Building Council, a platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the living roof absorbs storm water and according to the museum will prevent 3.6 million gallons of polluted water from entering into the eco-system. The living roof is also home to wildlife and California wildflowers. It is said that the roof keeps the building 10 degrees cooler and turns carbon dioxide into oxygen.  Solar cells produce 5-10% of the museum’s energy as well. The structure is insulated by nearly 216,000 pairs of Levi’s jeans, paying homage to the native San Francisco denim company.

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Underneath the living roof, the museum houses the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, Kimball Natural History Museum and includes a four story rainforest, a coral reef, a 100,000 gallon tank with Pacific coast marine life, a swamp, a habitat for penguins and exhibit on climate change and global warming.

Piano explains, “You almost never get a chance to build something in the middle of a great park, so it needed to be transparent…here you need to know about the connection with nature, so almost anywhere you are in this building you can see through to the outside.”

California Academy of Science: http://www.calacademy.org/
More on Renzo Piano: http://architect.architecture.sk/renzo-piano-architect/renzo-piano-architect.php

NANCY GANDRUD